Self organizing travel information in the wake of volcanic ash cloud


I’m at Campus Party EU in Madrid this week and while it was a decent event, the part that it’s interesting is to see how community of over 200 international participants organize themselves as most of the flights back are canceled. As almost here is versed in IT technologies it is safe to say that we’re seeing the future of citizen self-organizing using modern collaboration technologies.

1. Projecting Twitter stream to the stages. This was more of a gimmick and nice to have back channel before, but during the time of the crisis provides an excellent overview of the chatter and what people are saying or trying to organize.

2. Travel Wiki, where people started writing down which cities or towns they need to get and what are different options of travel and prices.

3. Official blog that keeps everyone updated with the latest information. This if of course transmitted to the wiki and twitter stream.

All the solutions, except for the official blog, relay on the crowd to filter the information and self organize while everyone thinks of the solution. It ensures people don’t panic and there are centralized and maintained places to find the latest information, reducing the level of misinformation and things lost in translation.